Cork seaside town's legendary landmark set to be saved

Moll Goggin’s viewing balcony in Youghal looks set to be saved from collapsing into the sea
Cork seaside town's legendary landmark set to be saved

Moll Goggin's Balcony, which has been fenced off since 2008 after gaps appeared on its base, looks set to be saved. Picture: Christy Parker

Youghal’s legendary Moll Goggin’s viewing balcony at last looks set to be saved from collapsing into the sea.

Cork County Council has announced funding for “initial design and costing” towards its restoration.

The announcement was made to Youghal-based Independent councillor and current county mayor, Mary Linehan-Foley, in an email from senior executive officer Seán O’Callaghan.

The balcony sits some 30 metres above rocks, close by Youghal lighthouse, where the main road divides towards the front strand.

It has been fenced off since 2008 after gaps appeared on its base, suggesting terminal decline and a potential collapse that could bring a section of roadway with it. 

It is presently a weed-infested eyesore.

The structure’s origins predate memory, alongside photographic evidence that it was a popular leisure facility in the early 20th century.

A plaque details the poignant legend of Moll, a young, love-struck woman who plaintively scanned the horizon from the spot, in a vain, years-long vigil for her lover’s ship to return from a fatal voyage.

Several years ago Cork County Council estimated a cost of €180,000 to restore the balcony and a similar amount to demolish it.

However the restoration misleadingly included another structure in the area also.

Local community event group Youghal 4 All have led demonstrations calling for the balcony’s repair, although these subsided in recent years.

Meanwhile Cllr Linehan-Foley persistently argued for its restoration, securing a unanimous mandate from her fellow county councillors.

Photographic evidence shows that Moll Goggin's Balcony was a popular leisure facility in the early 20th century. Picture: Christy Parker
Photographic evidence shows that Moll Goggin's Balcony was a popular leisure facility in the early 20th century. Picture: Christy Parker

Displaying a level of commitment to rival that of Moll herself, the councillor even pledged to stand on the balcony in a bikini if and when it is restored.

Ms Linehan-Foley says the design research will commence in the coming months and provide an estimated cost of restoration, for which the council is expected to investigate sources.

Thanking Mr O’Callaghan for “keep this project alive”, the councillor said she is “absolutely thrilled” with the commitment.

“This ties in so well with the boardwalk extension, the upcoming greenway, the planned opening of the lighthouse grounds, Ironman and the many other wonderful attractions that are revitalising Youghal as vibrant family-friendly holiday destination,” she said.

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